Happy Xmas – Top of the Solstice Season

It being 8 December 2016, must be time to recall the tragedy of 36 years ago. Around here that generally means pulling out one of my three favourite seasonal songs. It’s called ‘Happy Xmas (War is over)’.

It also must be time to start prefacing my greetings with ‘Top of the Solstice Season’. Which of course might also be Merry Mithramas.

Solstice Season celebrations, image found on web, 2016

Image found on web re various Solstice Season celebrations

John Lennon’s song actually is called Happy Xmas. Which, in turn, bring to mind the attached graphic and this comment, as made on pHantacea on pHacebook a couple of days ago:

“To which might be added: You don’t need to be a Xuthrodite to like swimming on Xmas Day in warmer climes. (Xuthros Hor = the Biblical Noah in the Phantacea Mythos. He looks Japanese and rides a Raven’s Head according to cover of “Forever & Forty Days — the Genesis of Phantacea” — wraparound cover double-clicks there

Please like & share:

Day of the Deadhead

The Day of the Dead was last week. Except in what will henceforth be known as the United States of Am-idiocy. Actually, thinking about it this morning, yesterday was more like the Day of the Deadhead down there.

Have some sugar skulls shot at a local Vancouver restaurant on October 27, 2016.

Note that (presumably) the same Katrina (second one down) found its way into the Wilderwitch’s Babies promotional collage currently found on www.phantacea.com. Evidently she does not need to be kept in a refrigerator to last from year to year.

Jim McPherson's photo.
Jim McPherson's photo.
Jim McPherson's photo.
Jim McPherson's photo.
Jim McPherson's photo.
Jim McPherson Phantacea Publications has this year’s pick of the pumpkin prowl. Even though Jacks are by default orange, no comment meant re last night’s conclusion to smear campaign in Am-idiocy.
Like · Reply · 1 · 1 hr

 

Jim McPherson

Write a reply…
 
Jim McPherson
Write a comment…
Please like & share:

Holy Hola Hoops — Y blog’s been offline for awhile

“Holy Hola Hoops, Harry lad!” Young Death almost spoke those words of greeting to Harry “Ringleader” Zeross during Pregame Gambit (http://www.phantacea.com/#pdfDec). Seems an appropriate hola from down here in Touristic Dentistry land. Got one last appointment b4 heading home next Sunday so have been mostly offline for a while.

Been rereading the Weirdness of Cabalarkon” (http://www.phantacea.info/synop5.htm#limbo1) and, boyo el toyo, is it different from “Decimation Damnation” (http://www.phantacea.com/#comingSoon). So, feel free to cheat howsoever slightly and read Weirdness’s synopses (http://www.phantacea.info/synop5.htm#month1) before ordering the latest mini-novel (http://www.phantacea.com/#pdfDec).

You’ll be very surprised just how wrong I got a very nearly canonical storyline originally scripted for the Phantacea Phase Two series of 1980s comic books (that never were) back in the early 20-Zeros,

Specializes in providing highly imaginative, action oriented Anheroic Fantasy in the form of novels serialized online, chapter by chapter synopses, photo essays, travelogues and other regularly updated features. Complete PHANTACEA novels…
phantacea.info|By Jim McPherson
Please like & share:

Good Cover, Bad Cover, Final Cover(s)

Final cover collage for the print edition of “Decimation Damnation”

Final cover for print edition of "Decimation Damnation", collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2016

Final cover for print edition of “Decimation Damnation”

Made mention of cover controversy surrounding the various collages prepared for “Decimation Damnation — Wilderwitch’s Babies 1” a number of times out here in Cyberia. (See also here and here.)

Lately it’s got so bad I’ve had to eject an entire row from the graphics section on the Witch Babs page.

It had to go somewhere so …

Source of Viennese Photo Montage

Front cover picture of Sharbat Gula as it appeared on National Geographic cover in June 1985

Though shot in 2010 at a public gallery in Vienna, Austria, it turns out that the otherwise unidentified photo montage used in the cover collage in this row began as a photo taken for the National Geographic’s June 1984 issue and as such can’t be pHanta-used as is.

The subject’s name is Sharbat Gula, at the time (1984) age 12. More on pH-Webworld‘s Summer 2016 entry of Serendipity and …

Rejected full cover for "Decimation Damnation" mini-novel

Full tentative cover for Decimation Damnation mini-novel, prepared by Jim McPherson, 2016

Background image is a sunset taken at Jericho Beach in Vancouver, July 2015; Easter Island Moai taken from the Web then solarized

Rejected front cover for DecDam

Main shot taken in Vienna, Austria, gallery, uncredited art, photo by Jim McPherson, 2010; used on tentative front cover for 2016 mini-novel, prepared by Jim McPherson

Wilderwitch representative spotted and shot in a Vienna, Austria, city gallery in 2010; Moai used to represent between-space stone gnomes reputed to exist in the Weirdom of Cabalarkon

Did manage to retain the darker version of the cover for use on one or the other of the mini-novel’s digital editions (PDF or e-pub). So hardly a wasted effort.

Tentative full cover for "Decimation Damnation"

Took out the face, save for the hair and eyes, of the Afghan Girl and filled in space with Daemonic Desperation graphics. Like result a lot … but may not use it for print to blackness issues. Should be okay for digital editions, though.

Please like & share:

These greens aren’t edible; hopefully, they’re editable

It’s happened again. Caught it in time, this time, but still …

Artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014

Helios on Moon tested at 300%. Note lack of green. That means it passed 2014 Acrobat test.

Artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014

Helios on Moon cover tested at 240%. Note the green. That means it failed. Yet it’s still available from same POD printer. Go figure.

In case you were wondering why “Decimation Damnation” didn’t come out on or about Midsummer’s Day 2016, check this out.

<<==  A year and a half ago Ricardo Sandoval produced a print cover for Helios on the Moon. It passed the 300% overall coverage test on Acrobat.

==>> Times change. It wouldn’t today because the POD company I use now requires covers must first pass a 240% overall coverage test.

Collage by Jim McPherson, 2016

Note the green. First choice cover tested at 240% failed.

Cover collage by Jim McPherson, 2016

Again, note the green. Would have failed in 2014, so back to square one.

Cover collage Jim McPherson, 2016

Cover collage initially prepared for second entry in Wilderwitch’s Babies saga “Destination Damnation”

As per here, I had to abandon my first choice print cover for DecDam. Then my craftily reworked second choice <<== did not pass the Acrobat test at 240% total overall coverage.

Small conciliation, it would not have passed the 2014 test either. ==>>

<<== So I tried out the cover I initially intended for the follow-up entry in the as yet open-ended saga of Wilderwitch’s Babies.

Cover collage originally prepared for "Destination Damnation" by Jim McPherson, 2016

Even at 300% the DestDam cover was only a borderline pass.

(Likely title, in case you were wondering, “Destination Damnation”)

It was only marginally better. ==>>

Here’s the requirement:

“When the Output Preview window is open you can move your cursor over the PDF and view the CMYK values in your file.

“This is a good time to verify that the barcode used is 100% black only and that your cover does not have large areas of color that exceed 240% Total Area Coverage.

“If concerned about excessive color density you can select the box at the bottom of the window labeled “Total Area Coverage”, select a maximum limit and all offending areas will be highlighted.”

Concerned I was; concerned I still am. But I’m submitting Revision 4 anyhow. Stay tuned. If gasket blows, well, at least I’ve got comparatively affordable medical insurance.

Cover collage prepared by Jim McPherson, July 2016

The fourth revision of the cover collage for “Decimation Damnation”. Collage prepared by Jim McPherson, July 2016

Please like & share:

Hacienda Morelos does its best to keep town a secret

Psst .. Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, put the finishing touches on both 2013’s “Nuclear Dragons” and 2014’s “Helios on the Moon” in Puerto Morelos, Mexico.

He’d didn’t bruit this about on any of the Phantacea websites because he mistakenly thought he was keeping the town a private delight. Guess what? It didn’t work. So much so that by the time he decided to return there this year it was packed.

He ended up staying — index fingers crossed in a warding gesture of just that, a cross — at the Hacienda Morelos. Here’s his report, as first published on the booking.com website earlier this week:

Business card used by Jim McPherson when in Phantacea mode

Business card used by Jim McPherson when in Phantacea mode; the Pharaoh’s head is actually a parking shot on Giza Plateau as shot by Egyptian air force circa 1929/30; Sedon’s Head by Jim McPherson and Tim Hammell, ca 1978

========

“Gorgeous setting about only good thing about Hacienda Morelos”

Situated right on a ledge above a nearly endless, soft sand, Caribbean beach that’s kept fairly clean. (Trash cans could do with more frequent dumping and the sargassum sea weed, while not as bad as last year, needs more aggressive attention.) Gorgeous view of diving and fishing boats and tenders, with the port, hence Puerto Morelos, in distance.

View from the terrace of the Hacienda Morelos after a rain storm, photo by Jim McPherson, 2016

View from the terrace of the Hacienda Morelos after a rain storm

A short walk to town square (zocala), a selection of good restaurants and a decent coffee house. One place even serves Austro-Hungarian goulash while a couple have outrageously pricey lamb. Lots of music in the bars and restaurants, though nothing at hotel, fortunately, which was quiet at night. I say fortunately because much of my stay was unfortunate.

Had to ask for towels as none were supplied at first. When I complained about the lack of hot water in shower, the desk clerk suggested I didn’t get up early enough; that everyone showers between 7 and 9 a.m., and that water containers can only heat so much.

Beach shot of Hacienda Morelos, taken by Jim McPherson, 2016

Looking up at the Hacienda Morelos as shot from the beach in February 2016 by Jim McPherson

Besides, she added, it’s usually hot, so guests don’t mind tepid shower water. (It did rain a few times and the wind was nearly constant, so not the best weather. But I was there to write and the town was down the street, so didn’t mind too much.)

Kitchen ran out of black tea after two days and never replaced stock for remaining five days. (Couldn’t find any in the local store but never checked Oxxo, the omnipresent Mexican equivalent of 7-Eleven.) The continental breakfast consisted of stale white toast, dubious pineapple marmalade, juice and either coffee or tea, read Nescafe and caffeine-free Manzanilla Chamomile. Everything else is extra.

I asked for plain yogurt and granola but they never had any granola, so they didn’t charge me. Once they substituted pink lemonade for juice and another time powdered Tang or some such. So don’t jump at offer of a free breakfast likr . Or the advertised notion that WiFi is available throughout hotel. It isn’t.

Rainbow taken at Hacienda Morelos by Jim McPherson, 2016

Shot of a rainbow taken from Hacienda Morelos terrace, image flipped horizontally.

In fact, it’s only available in the lobby or on the terrace and even then you need two separate sign-ins. Fortunately (again) I was assigned a terrace room, which was actually on the pool deck. Scuba lessons started at 8 a.m. but were usually done by 10. The doors had no screens and the room had no overhead fans. The air conditioning was so loud I shut it off. Something of a blessing, the windows that opened did have screens.

Perhaps worst of all were the pillows. They were so stuffed with foam they had no give. Instead of cushioning your head they more like bruised it. I asked for down pillows but they didn’t have any. Gave me a couple of pillows with some of the foam removed, which was better. Except one of them hadn’t been sewn up properly and I ended up with foam all over the bed, floor and me, until I noticed it. Rather than replacing it they doubled up the pillow casing.

Won’t be returning to Hacienda Morelos anytime soon. Even without the to me shocking add-on of 19% tax, it’s an overpriced shell of what once, twenty or thirty years ago, might have been a fabulous place to stay.

Phantacea Publications logo utilizing a Sun-Moon wooden Carving spotted and shot by Jim McPherson, 2014

Phantacea Publications logo utilizing a Sun-Moon wood carving spotted and shot by Jim McPherson, 2014; taken to represent the Dual Entities during happy times

Please like & share:

Does that make today Midwinter’s Eve?

Jim McPherson, the  creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, readily admits to being confused once in awhile. Not with aforesaid Phantacea Mythos, which he claims is perfectly straightforward, but with many vagaries of the modern world.

As he’s remarked frequently, and also in writing (most recently in Serendipity and …), he’s never quite understood why almost everyone seems to accept that winter begins on the solstice when, equally so, it’s traditionally known as Yule or Midwinter’s Day.

Wheel of the Year graphic taken from the Web

Wheel clearly shows the Summer Solstice is Midsummer’s Day, meaning the Winter Solstice (Yule) should be Midwinter’s Day

Unless it’s the Iliad, which starts ‘in media res’, in the middle of things, one doesn’t usually start much of anything on its middle day. To that end — albeit only mid-blog — here is something cribbed from his Facebook site (not to be confused with pHantacea on pHacebook) on the 19th of December 2015.

Today’s editorial in the [Vancouver] Sun didn’t exactly state that Monday doesn’t mark the first day of Winter but implies as much. In fact a letter to the Editor from Megan Schram dated 17 December makes clear the Solstice is more correctly thought of as Midwinter’s Day, Yule or only the fourth day of the eight day celebration of Saturnalia. Which in turn culminates on Mithramas, what only later became Christmas.

“Christmas is a tradition that has evolved over centuries. Roman Pagans introduced the holiday of Saturnalia, which was celebrated from December 17-25. Christianity tried to import Saturnalia to convert the Pagan masses. Because there was nothing Christian about it, they decided to name December 25 as Christ’s birthday and call it Christmas. Despite the takeover, Christmas continued to be celebrated with much food, drinking and hedonistic pleasure. Today’s customs of the tree, mistletoe, and exchanging gifts are Pagan in origin and were usurped by Christians …”

[Hit here and scroll down slightly for the complete letter to the editor as it appears online.]

The editorial referred to above is here. Have a couple of direct, howsoever florid, quotes that may or may not prove the point.

“In truth, the frosty boots of winter have been on the march toward Tuesday’s seasonal coronation for some time now …

“Yet if Tuesday’s solstice marks the official start of winter, it also marks the beginning of its unofficial end … In a scant six weeks or so, it will be spring that begins its march up the river valleys and mountain slopes, melting the cornices of blown snow that now adorn our glittering peaks.”

While that should settle that, it doesn’t because, you know, it’s just too damn complicated a re-think. Halloween is not the last day of Autumn. Imbolc Day (February the First or Second) is not the first day of Spring and Summer doesn’t start on Beltane (the beginning of May). Winter starts on the solstice, period, end entry.

As for today, if the time of the solstice is 11:48 EST tonight, which my calendar says it is, how can today be Midwinter’s Day? Might it not more correctly be considered Midwinter’s Night? Or, better yet, Midwinter’s Eve, making tomorrow Midwinter’s Day?

End rant. Until next year anyhow.

Business card for Phantacea Publications, prepared by Jim McPherson, 2008

Anheroic Fantasy since 1977

Please like & share:

Top of the Solstice Season, Saturnalia Salutations and/or Merry Mithramas

 Happy Xmas from deities born on or around December 25!

(Introductory Note: Xmas may come from the Greek letter X, pronounced Chi, as in the first letters of Christ. However, in the Phantacea Mythos, it comes from Xuthros Hor, the Biblical Noah. Who, on account of the Noh Theatre, looks Japanese on the cover of “Forever & 40 Days — the Genesis of Phantacea”, a graphic novel that came out in 1990.)

Got this graphic off the web after it appeared somewhere on Facebook.

Image of coins containing heads of 16 gods taken from Web.

Sixteen “mythological” gods who celebrated their birthday around the Winter Solstice

Quite a lot of these fellows (no goddesses on list), or variations thereof, appear during the course of the Phantacea Mythos.

Photo by Jim McPherson, taken in Sintra Portugal in 2008

The All-Seeing Eye of Providence, not Horus, as shot by Jim McPherson, 2008, within the chapel of the highly recommended Quinta da Regaleira (where it’s called “The Flaming Triangle” for some reason) in Sintra Portugal

For example …

  1. The All-Seeing Eye of Providence, not Horus, shows up a bunch of places on the main website. Here’s one (http://www.phantacea.com/MasDevs1.htm#PyrRow); here’s another (http://www.phantacea.com/postTheo.html).
  2. Tammuz and Osiraq are the names of the Idiot or Atomic Twins who figure so devastatingly in end-game of “The Death’s Head Hellion” mini-novel (http://www.phantacea.com/pre1000.html#1idjits).
  3. Arguably, given Phantacea has always been ‘Anheroic Fantasy’, Chrysaor Attis is the central protagonist (http://www.phantacea.info/summer07.htm#AttisDescribed) in “Feeling Theocidal“. 
  4. His Great God of a devic half-father, Thyrgragos Varuna Mithras (http://www.phantacea.com/dEvilGods.htm#ThryagMith), might be considered the novel’s main antagonist. Phantacea‘s Mithras even mocks Zoroastrian tradition here (http://www.phantacea.com/dEvilGods.htm#SpermAcrack).
  5. Tvasitar Smithmonger is considered the devic Prometheus. He lives in the huge, as well as hugely impressive, cyclopean structure known as the Prometheum. Also as per  “The Death’s Head Hellion“, it stands atop the cliffs overlooking the molten Brainrock, lava lake in the caldera of Sedon’s Peak (http://www.phantacea.com/1000characters.html#1tavy).
  6. Finally, for now, Lazareme’s female messenger is known as Irisiel Mercherm (http://www.phantacea.com/1000characters.html#1speedy); her last name being half Hermes.
E-book cover for "Feeling Theocidal", artwork by Verne Andru, 2008

E-book cover for “Feeling Theocidal”, artwork by Verne Andru, 2008; Feel Theo’s web page is here:
http://www.phantacea.com/FeelTheoPage.htm#BlownUpCover

Additionally seems to me Adonis was mentioned during the course of ‘Feel Theo’ as one of Attis’s aspects during the 500-year era of the Goddess Culture on the Outer Earth (ca 2000 – 1500 BC).

Certainly Krishna’s girlfriend Lakshmi, even if she wasn’t nominally considered that in ancient times due to the prevalence of avatars, contributed her name to a surviving leader of D-Brig’s boo-hiss meter in the aftermath of “The War of the Apocalyptics“.

While on the topic of goddesses, Dionysus’s mother was Semele, daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia, variations of whom appear in the upcoming “Wilderwitch’s Babies” storyline.

Cover for E-Versions of "The War of the Apocalyptics", artwork by Ian Bateson

E-Pox now available on the Kindle platform

His Cretan consort contributed her name to a character,  Ariadne Atreides, who appeared during ‘The Volsung Variations‘ web-serials of the early 2000s on pH-Webworld.

Further to this and Point 2 above, being Master Devas, Tammuz and Osiraq weren’t just twins. They were two of three. Their triplet came to be called Novadev.

Artwork from front cover of "Helios on the Moon" by Ricardo Sandoval; promo prepared by Jim McPherson, 2014

Helios, with his ‘holocaster’, and the She-Sphinx (All of Incain) , with Thunder and Lightning Lord Yajur (Lord Order) sneaking up on them; artwork by Ricardo Sandoval taken from front cover of print version of Helios on the Moon

As per Feeling Theocidal, he was atomized (cathonitized, become a star in the night’s sky above the Hidden Headworld) circa 1500 BC. Did so while drinking with Phantacea  versions of that Cadmus (called Kadmon) and that Harmonia (the incomparable Harmony Unity).

Just in case you missed it in “Helios on the Moon“, or way back in 1977’s Phantacea One, Colonel Avatar Sol exploded near the moon. Miracle Memory (at least partially based on that Harmony) tells Heliosophos (who may have been that Kadmon in his second lifetime) that Sol was possessed of that Novadev.

One of the first postings on pHantaBlog was entitled “Make that Merry Mithramas“. If you need any more lynx on any of the above try the search engine atop most of the pages throughout www.phantacea.com.

Oh, yes, one of the subplots in the upcoming “Wilderwitch’s Babies” storyline has to do with efforts by the aforementioned Pyrame (Providence) Silverstar seeking to entice her forever lover, the Moloch Sedon — none other than the Mighty Eye-Mouth in the Sky that was featured on the wraparound cover reprinted immediately below — into undoing the damage done by the Idiot Twins as per the aforementioned mini-novel “The Death’s Head Hellion“.

Wraparound cover for Phantacea Phase One #1, artwork by Ian Bateson, ca 1985

Wraparound cover for Phantacea Phase One #1, artwork by Ian Bateson, ca 1985

Please like & share:

Too bad the non-illusory side effect went walking 35 years ago

Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, generally confines his rants to his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pHantaJim). Not at all coincidentally pHantaJim is also the name of this page’s blog-meister. Funny that.

He likes Doonesbury, even the repeats, and when this came up on today’s date (http://doonesbury.washingtonpost.com/), this did too:

Unfortunately John Lennon did not use ‘Intensity’ when he went for walks

Doonesbury from 1986 reprinted on December 8, 2015

Duke runs Baby Doc Medical School. This week (in 1985) he’s holding a designer drug clinic on his Haitian campus dedicated to ‘Intensity’.

Phantacea is the Greek word for ‘imagination’. John Lennon wrote ‘Imagine’. Thirty-five years ago today his illusory ‘side effect’ did not go out for a walk.

As detailed throughout “Goddess Gambit“, Book Three of The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories fantasy epic, and the ultimately related Launch 1980 story cycle, plenty was going on thirty-five years ago in the Phantacea Mythos.

Promo prepared for upcoming release of Helios on the Moon by Jim McPherson, 2014

Double-click to enlarge; the better to read if you do. Artwork is from the two Phantacea Revisited graphic novels.

Goddess Gambit: On Dustmound, Smiler, now possessing Molorchus, insists Vetala bears and has his azuras; when she refuses he reveals to her the truth of the VAM Entity, the amalgamate abom­ination (Mithras, Varuna & Ahriman were Thrygragos Sedon’s firstborn, not as per here the Thanatoids of Lathakra plus brood brother Phantast), and the consequential fact that her actual father was Sedon, not Mit­ravaruna;

Nuclear Dragons: In NYC, someone kills John Lennon; hearing of it on Centauri Island Hiyati Samarand (homunculus possessed by Bodiless Byron’s Dragon) has a heart attack; by now most of Sentalli’s Untouch­ables, most of whom turned out to be homunculi, aka homun beings, have died;

Goddess Gambit: Final battle for Dustmound begins; Trigregos Titan (Vetala’s Soldier) caked by tellurian material in the form of demons projected by Molorchus-Smiler (who’d established a pipeline to hell itself);

Helios on the Moon: Indescribable Mr No Name brings the cosmicompani­ons out of the computer while Smythe brings devic eyes to UNES Lib­erty; Strife takes over Mnemosy­ne Machine (unoccupied aspect of the Female Entity, that of memory); claims she has ejected the future Erebe-Night (actually Demon Queen Lilith, Smiler-Daemonicus’s Gomorrah) into a black hole after Starrus-Yajur;

Phantacea Publications logo utilizing a Sun-Moon wooden Carving spotted and shot by Jim McPherson, 2014

Phantacea Publications logo utilizing a Sun-Moon wood carving spotted and shot by Jim McPherson, 2014; taken to represent the Dual Entities during happy times

Please like & share:

Not so marvelous Marseillaise

Just in case you’re tempted to break out in rousing defiance by singing the Marseillaise on your street corner, best recall what you’re belting out ever so robustly:

Do you hear, in the countryside
The roar of those ferocious soldiers?
They’re coming right into your arms
To cut the throats of your sons, your women!

France’s national anthem will be sung by English as well as French fans at Wembley. What’s the story behind the song?
bbc.com
Please like & share: